The 2023 Minnesota Writing Workshop: March 25, 2023

Screen Shot 2016-12-25 at 10.34.26 PM.pngAfter successful 2014, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022 events in Minnesota, Writing Day Workshops is excited to announce The 2023 Minnesota Writing Workshop — a full-day “How to Get Published” writing event in St. Paul, MN on March 25, 2023.

This writing event is a wonderful opportunity to get intense instruction over the course of one day, pitch a literary agent or editor (optional), get your questions answered, and more. Note that there are limited seats at the event (200 total). All questions about the event regarding schedule, details and registration are answered below. Thank you for your interest in the 2023 Minnesota Writing Workshop! We are very proud of our many success stories where attendees sign with agents following events — see our growing list of success stories here.

(Please note that this is an in-person event. We at Writing Day Workshops plan both online/virtual as well as in-person events. This next MWW is an in-person event happening in St. Paul on March 25, 2023. See you there.)

WHAT IS IT?

This is a special one-day “How to Get Published” writing workshop on Saturday, March 25, 2023, at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel St. Paul Downtown. In other words, it’s one day full of classes and advice designed to give you the best instruction concerning how to get your writing & books published. We’ll discuss your publishing opportunities today, how to write queries & pitches, how to market yourself and your books, what makes an agent/editor stop reading your manuscript, and more. No matter what you’re writing — fiction or nonfiction — the day’s classes will help point you in the right direction. Writers of all genres are welcome.

This event is designed to squeeze as much into one day of learning as possible. You can ask any questions you like during the classes, and get your specific concerns addressed. We will have literary agents onsite to give feedback and take pitches from writers, as well. This year’s agent and editor faculty so far includes:

  • literary agent Jennifer Carlson (Dunow, Carlson & Lerner)
  • literary agent Erin Casey Westin (Gallt & Zacker)
  • literary agent Savannah Brooks (KT Literary)
  • literary agent Catherine Hedrick Armstrong (The Purcell Agency)
  • editor Meg Gaertner (Flux & Jolly Fish Press)
  • and more to come.

By the end of the day, you will have all the tools you need to move forward on your writing journey. This independent event is organized by coordinator Brian Klems of Writing Day Workshops. E-mail him to register for the event at WritingDayWorkshops@gmail.com.

EVENT LOCATION & DETAILS:

9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Saturday, March 25, 2023 — at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel St. Paul Downtown. (651)291-8800.(Please note that this is an in-person event. We at Writing Day Workshops plan both online/virtual as well as in-person events. This next MWW is an in-person event happening in St. Paul on March 25, 2023. See you there.)

THIS YEAR’S SESSIONS & WORKSHOPS (MARCH 25, 2023):

What you see below is a quick layout of the day’s events. The topics below are mostly set, but subject to change. You can see a more detailed layout of the day’s classes on the Schedule Page here.

Please Note: There will be 2-3 classes/workshops going at all times during the day, so you will have your choice of what class you attend at any time. The final schedule of topics is subject to change, but here is the current layout:

8:30 – 9:30: Check-in and registration at the event location.

BLOCK ONE: 9:30 – 10:30

1. TBD (room)

2. TBD (room)

Screen Shot 2015-12-30 at 1.44.34 AMBLOCK TWO: 10:45 – 11:50

1. TBD (room)

2. TBD (room)

(What you see here is a quick layout of the day’s events. See a full layout of the day’s sessions, with detailed descriptions, on the official Schedule Page here.)

LUNCH ON YOUR OWN: 11:50 – 1:15

Lunch is on your own during these 85 minutes.

BLOCK THREE: 1:15 – 2:30

1. “Writers Got Talent”—a Page 1 Critique Fest (room). This is a chance to get your first page read (anonymously — no bylines given) with attending agents commenting on what was liked or not liked about the submission.

2. TBD (room)

BLOCK FOUR: 2:45 – 3:45

1. TBD (room)

2. TBD (room)

(What you see here is a quick layout of the day’s events. See a full layout of the day’s sessions, with detailed descriptions, on the official Schedule Page here.)

BLOCK FIVE: 4:00 – 5:00

1. TBD (room)

2. TBD (room)

SESSIONS END: 5:00

At 5 p.m., the day is done. Speakers will make themselves available by the workshop’s bookstore for a short while to sign any books for attendees.

Agent & Editor Pitching: All throughout the day.

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PITCH AN AGENT OR EDITOR (IN PERSON):

Jennifer Carlson is a literary agent with Dunow, Carlson & Lerner. Jennifer has been agenting since 1997. Previously, she worked at Henry Dunow Literary Agency and Harold Ober Associates. She works with narrative nonfiction writers and journalists covering current events and ideas and cultural history, as well as literary and upmarket commercial novelists. On the children’s side, her clients are primarily young adult and middle grade fiction writers. She is not currently looking for new picture books or YA fantasy. Learn more about Jennifer here.

Erin Casey Westin is a literary agent with Gallt & Zacker Literary Agency. Erin is open to all kid lit age groups, from picture books through YA, and is particularly drawn to work that shows the author’s world- and character-building ability. She wants to believe wholeheartedly in the world of the book, whether the setting is familiar or fantastic. She wants to see authentic, thoughtful representations of all people so that every kid can find a book that speaks to them. Learn more about Erin here.

Savannah Brooks is an agent with KT Literary. Savannah represents all types of children’s books as well as adult contemporary/commercial fiction, romcoms, thrillers/mystery/suspense, and horror. She’s especially interested in stories that teach her something new, add to a larger sociopolitical conversation, and highlight underrepresented identities and cultures. In kidlit, she seeks picture books, chapter books, middle grade, young adult fiction, and also young adult nonfiction (from authors with platforms). Learn more about Savannah here.

Catherine Hedrick-Armstrong is a literary agent with The Purcell Agency. A prolific reader of many genres, Cathie represents young adult fiction, contemporary and historical romance, upmarket women’s fiction, mysteries, and thrillers. She deliberately keeps her client list small to give her authors the attention each deserves. Cathie looks for manuscripts that catch her attention within the first few pages. If you can evoke an emotional response in the opening pages—make her laugh out loud, cause her pulse to race, make her cry—you’ve got a winner. Cathie is never interested in Science Fiction or High Fantasy in any genre; however, fantasy with paranormal/supernatural elements, if absolutely grounded in the real world, can be a good fit. Learn more about Catherine here.

Meg Gaertner is a senior editor with Flux and Jolly Fish Press. She is seeking young adult works in all genres and voices. In young adult, she is happy to consider contemporary, science fiction, historical fiction, horror, thrillers, mystery, contemporary fantasy, genre-blending stories, “out-of-the-box” stories that combine social commentary with a killer voice and a fresh premise, diversity representation, and more. Learn more about Meg here.

ADDED ONLINE PITCHING: To ensure that writers have a robust and diverse lineup of agents & editors to pitch, 2023 Minnesota Writing Workshop attendees will have the ability to also pitch literary agents at the Writing Day Workshops *online* event that follows the 2023 MWW on our event calendar.

That event is the 2023 Online Writing Workshop of San Francisco, April 14-15, 2023, which will have 30-40 agents taking one-on-one Zoom virtual pitches. 

This means that 2023 MWW attendees can have access to pitching all those online WWSF agents — pitches still at $29 each — without being a formal registrant for the online April 2023 WWSF. (That said, if you want to formally register for the WWSF and have access to all classes and panels, let us know, as there is a discount for confirmed Minnesota attendees.)

If you are interested in this added pitching opportunity, the first step is to get formally registered for Minnesota. Following the MWW one-day conference on March 25, 2023, we will be in touch will all MWW attendees and ask them if they want to partake in pitching online agents at the 2023 WWSF (April 14-15). At that time, you can communicate your pitch requests and purchase meeting time.

* * * * *

* * * * *

        More 2023 agents to be announced as they are confirmed. You can sign up for pitches at any time, or switch pitches at any time, so long as the agent in question still has appointments open.

These one-on-one meetings are an amazing chance to pitch your book face-to-face with an agent, and get personal, individual feedback on your pitch/concept. If the agent likes your pitch, they’ll request to see part/all of your book — sending you straight past the slush pile. It also gives you an intimate chance to meet with an agent and pick their brain with any questions on your mind.

(Please note that Agent/Editor Pitching is an add-on, separate aspect of the day, for only those who sign up. Spaces are limited for these premium meetings, and pricing/detail is explained below.)

———

PRICING:

$199 — EARLY BIRD base price for registration to the 2023 MWW and access to all workshops, all day. As of fall 2022, registration is now OPEN.

Add $29 — to secure a 10-minute one-on-one meeting with any of our literary agents or editors in attendance. Use this special meeting as a chance to pitch your work and get professional feedback on your pitch. (Spaces limited.) If they wish, attendees are free to sign up for multiple 10-minute pitch sessions at $29/session — pitching multiple individuals, or securing 20 minutes to pitch one person rather than the usual 10. Here are four quick testimonials regarding writers who have signed with literary agents after pitching them at prior Writing Day Workshops events. (Our bigger, growing  list of success stories an be seen here.)

Screen Shot 2018-11-26 at 11.11.29 AM.png“I met my client, Alison Hammer, at the Writing
Workshop of Chicago and just sold her book.”
– literary agent Joanna Mackenzie of Nelson Literary

Screen Shot 2017-05-02 at 11.47.54 PM.png“Good news! I signed a client [novelist Aliza Mann]
from the Michigan Writing Workshop!”
– literary agent Sara Mebigow of KT Literary

Screen Shot 2018-11-05 at 12.56.10 PM“I signed author Stephanie Wright from
the Seattle Writing Workshop.”
– literary agent Kathleen Ortiz of New Leaf Literary

Screen Shot 2018-05-17 at 9.07.44 PM“I signed an author [Kate Thompson] that I
met at the Philadelphia Writing Workshop.”
– literary agent Kimberly Brower of Brower Literary

Screen Shot 2016-10-16 at 2.54.50 PM.png“I signed novelist Kathleen McInnis after meeting her
at the Chesapeake Writing Workshop.”

– literary agent Adriann Ranta of Foundry Literary + Media

Add $69 — for an in-depth, personal critique of your one-page query letter from Chuck Sambuchino, one of the day’s instructors. (This rate is a special event value for Minnesota Writing Workshop attendees only.) Registrants are encouraged to take advantage of the specially-priced critique, so they can send out their query letter with confidence following the workshop. Also, if you are meeting with an agent at the event, you’re essentially speaking your query letter aloud to them. Wouldn’t it be wise to give that query letter (i.e., your pitch) one great edit before that meeting?

Add $89 — for an in-depth personal critique of the first 10 pages of your novel. Spaces with faculty for these critiques are very limited, and participating attendees will either 1) get an in-person meeting at the workshop, if the faculty member is attending the live event, or 2) get a 10-minute phone call with the faculty member, and have notes passed along via email, if the critiquer is not attending the live event. Options:

  • Mystery, thriller, general fiction, literary fiction, science fiction, fantasy, romance, women’s fiction (virtual critiques): Faculty member Tara Yilmaz, a writing coach and author, will get your work in advance, critique the first 10 double-spaced pages of your book, meet with you online (Zoom, etc.) or by phone for 10 minutes sometime before the workshop to discuss her thoughts, and pass along written critique notes before or after the meeting.
  • x
  • x

How to pay/register — Registration is now open. Reach out to workshop organizer Brian Klems via email: WritingDayWorkshops@gmail.com, and he will provide specific instructions for payment and registration to get you a reserved seat at the event. Payment is by credit card, PayPal, or check. Because Brian plans different workshops, make sure you note that you’re inquiring about the Minnesota workshop specifically.

REGISTRATION:

Because of limited space at the venue (Doubletree by Hilton Hotel St. Paul Downtown), the workshop can only allow 200 registrants, unless spacing issues change. For this reason, we encourage you to book sooner rather than later.

(Please note that this is an in-person event. We at Writing Day Workshops plan both online/virtual as well as in-person events. This next MWW is an in-person event happening in St. Paul on March 25, 2023. See you there.)

Are spaces still available? Yes, we still have spaces available. We will announce RIGHT HERE, at this point on this web page, when all spaces are taken. If you do not see a note right here saying how all spaces are booked, then yes, we still have room, and you are encouraged to register.

How to Register: The easy first step is simply to reach out to workshop organizer Brian Klems via email: WritingDayWorkshops@gmail.com. Brian will pass along registration information to you, and give instructions on how to pay by credit card, PayPal, or check. Once payment is complete, you will have a reserved seat at the event. The MWW will send out periodic e-mail updates to all registered attendees with any & all news about the event. Because Brian plans different workshops, make sure you note that you’re inquiring about the Minnesota workshop specifically.

Refunds: If you sign up for the event and have to cancel for any reason at any time, you will receive 50% of your total payment back [sent by check or PayPal]. The other 50% is nonrefundable and will not be returned, and helps the workshop ensure that only those truly interested in the limited spacing sign up for the event. (Please note that query editing payments and manuscript editing payments are completely non-refundable if the instructor has already edited your work.)

Screen Shot 2014-06-12 at 4.10.21 PM

Thank you for your interest in the 2023 Minnesota Writing Workshop.

 

 

Get to Know an Editor in Attendance: Meg Gaertner of Flux & Jolly Fish Press

Meg Gaertner is a senior editor with Flux and Jolly Fish Press.

She is seeking young adult works.

Following jobs and internships in neuroscience, social work, and education, Meg rediscovered a childhood love of writing, earned an MFA in Creative Writing at Antioch L.A., and got a job editing nonfiction at a publishing house. She has written three novels, attended multiple Futurescapes workshops, was a 2019 Pitch Wars mentee, made the Top Ten and Judges’ Favorites lists for Ink & Insights 2020, and is now the senior editor of middle grade and young adult fiction at Jolly Fish Press and Flux. She is also an author of YA fantasy and science fiction.

Young Adult Fiction Wish List:

Flux empowers young adults through imaginative, insightful, and inspiring fiction. Consistently provocative and independently alternative, Flux publishes unique narratives that expand perspectives, provide fresh takes, and increase representation. We welcome all voices and all genres of novel-length YA fiction.

I’m looking for well-crafted YA fiction with strong, engaging plots and one-of-a-kind characters. I prefer “out-of-the-box” stories that combine social commentary with a killer voice and a fresh premise. I also prefer stories with strong emotional arcs and themes.

I am open to the following YA genres:
• Contemporary
• Science Fiction
• Historical Fiction
• Horror
• Thrillers
• Mystery
• Contemporary Fantasy

Some specific wish list items:
• Genre-blending stories (mythology-inspired horror, sci-fi thriller, etc.)
• Anything horror, especially of the uncanny/unsettling variety
• Character-driven science fiction (less space opera and more exploring a theme such as our relationship to technology or what it means to be human)
• Historical fiction that highlights excluded or underrepresented experiences
• Protagonists as changemakers and activists
• Feminist, intersectional, post-colonial, and/or environmentally conscious stories
• Male lead characters who subvert toxic masculinity
• Found families and strong friendships, sibling relationships, and diverse ensemble casts
• Romance as a subplot OR romance not included at all (I’m not the best fit for romance as the chief plot)

Across all young adult genres, I welcome:
• LGBTQIA+ representation
• Neurodiversity
• Immigrant main characters
• Racial or cultural diversity

 

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Erin Casey Westin of Gallt & Zacker Literary Agency

Erin Casey Westin is a literary agent with Gallt & Zacker Literary Agency.

Erin graduated from Hamilton College with a B.A. in Creative Writing and an ever-growing list of books to read.

She is open to all kid lit age groups, from picture books through YA, and is particularly drawn to work that shows the author’s world- and character-building ability. She wants to believe wholeheartedly in the world of the book, whether the setting is familiar or fantastic. She wants to see authentic, thoughtful representations of all people so that every kid can find a book that speaks to them. She wants even the simplest lines of dialogue to pluck at her heartstrings because they’re so perfectly written for that character. Erin loves that startled feeling you get upon reaching the end of a chapter in a really good book. You forget you’re reading when you’re so busy living, you know?

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Catherine Hedrick Armstrong of The Purcell Agency

Cathie Hedrick-Armstrong is a literary agent with The Purcell Agency.

Cathie is an Oklahoma native transplanted in Minnesota for nearly 30 years. A proud alumnus of The University of Oklahoma, she holds a B.A. in Journalism with a minor in History and is a rabid fan of OU Sooners Football.

A prolific reader of many genres, Cathie represents Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary and Historical Romance, Upmarket Women’s Fiction, Mysteries, and Thrillers. She deliberately keeps her client list small to give her authors the attention each deserves while still allowing herself time for her own writing career as an author of issue-driven young adult and women’s fiction. Her own authored titles include the young adult novel, Roam, and the women’s fiction title, The Edge of Nowhere.

Cathie looks for manuscripts that catch her attention within the first few pages. If you can evoke an emotional response in the opening pages—make her laugh out loud, cause her pulse to race, make her cry—you’ve got a winner.

Cathie is never interested in Science Fiction or High Fantasy in any genre; however, fantasy with paranormal/supernatural elements IF GROUNDED IN THE REAL WORLD are often a good fit. (Examples: Victoria Laurie’s Ghost Hunter series, Juliet Blackwell’s Witchcraft Mysteries series, Karen Marie Moning’s Highlander series, or Charlaine Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse or Harper Connelly series).

Overall Wishlist:

  • As an Oklahoma native, Cathie is desperately searching for an #OwnVoices novel from a Native American perspective in either Young Adult or Adult categories. Bonus points if the setting is in Oklahoma or the characters are from one of the many tribes who call Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas, etc., home.
  • A slow-burn enemies to lovers romance like The Spanish Love Deception, or a misunderstandings breed false assumptions like The Love Hypothesis.
  • Forever on the lookout for a contemporary rom-com similar to Jill Barnett’s Dreaming.

Young Adult:

Cathie is currently looking for YA romance, romantic comedies, mysteries, thrillers, and horror.
She loves strong female characters and would love a female athlete such as gymnast, competitive diver, or girl playing a non-traditional female sport and kicking butt while doing it.
Favorite YA Authors: E. Lockhart, Dana L. Davis. Tiffany D. Jackson, Karen M. McManus, and Nikki Barthelmess

Romance:

The most important aspect of a good romance for Cathie is one with a slow burn that allows the reader time to get to know the characters and root for them. The more angst keeping them apart (and eventually bringing them together), the better.

Favorite tropes are romantic comedies, enemies to lovers, misunderstandings, and best friends to lovers.

Varying heat levels are absolutely fine, but the story itself has to be strong enough that graphic sex isn’t what holds it together. Sex on the page should, in Cathie’s opinion, always make a story stronger and make sense for the characters’ story progression without “weakening” it if it was moved behind closed doors.

Favorite Romance Authors: Tessa Bailey, Rachel Van Dyken, Talia Hibbert, Helen Hoang, Alyssa Cole, Lyssa Kay Adams, Emily Henry, Ali Hazelwood, Kelly Cain, and Elena Armas.

Women’s Fiction, Mysteries, Thrillers, and Suspense:

Cathie wants to be pulled into the story immediately and forget everything else going on in the world around her. Oftentimes, these include stories with quirky characters, strong family relationships, or a hidden secrets the main character is keeping and must discover—or we, the reader, must discover.

Favorite Women’s Fiction, Mystery, Thrillers, and Suspense Authors: Colleen Hoover, Janet Evanovich, Kate Morton, Victoria Laurie, Lorna Landvik, Cathy Lamb, Heather Gudenkauf, Joshilyn Jackson, Mary Kubica, B.A. Paris, John Grisham, and Ruth Ware.

DO NOT PITCH CATHIE:

  • Nonfiction
  • High Fantasy
  • Science Fiction
  • Stories including sexual assault when included without an absolutely “need” for inclusion in the story.
  • Queries to any social media inbox.
  • Queries to her email address or when she is closed to queries except by specific invitation from her to do so.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Jennifer Carlson of Dunow, Carlson & Lerner

Jennifer Carlson is a literary agent with Dunow, Carlson & Lerner.

Jennifer has been agenting since 1997. Previously, she worked at Henry Dunow Literary Agency and Harold Ober Associates.

She works with narrative nonfiction writers and journalists covering current events and ideas and cultural history, as well as literary and upmarket commercial novelists. On the children’s side, her clients are primarily young adult and middle grade fiction writers. A graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, she divides her time between Brooklyn and Minneapolis.

*She is not currently looking for new picture books or YA fantasy.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Savannah Brooks of KT Literary

Savannah Brooks is an agent with KT Literary.

Savannah started in agenting as an intern with the Jennifer De Chiara team in 2017, moving to associate agent in 2018. In 2022, she joined the incredible team at KT Literary as an agent, where she represents all of kid lit and adult contemporary fiction, romcoms, thrillers/mystery/suspense, and horror. She’s especially interested in stories that teach her something new, add to a larger sociopolitical conversation, and highlight underrepresented identities and cultures. She earned her MFA, focused in creative nonfiction, from Hamline University and her BS in marketing management from Virginia Tech and worked on the editorial side of publishing for two years prior to joining JDLA. As well as agenting, she works as a publishing and literature lecturer at the University of Minnesota and a teaching artist at the Loft Literary Center. She lives in Minneapolis and can regularly be found at one of Minnesota’s 11,842 lakes — yes, even in winter.

She represents:

  • picture books
  • chapter books
  • middle grade
  • young adult (fiction and nonfiction)
  • adult fiction (contemporary/commercial, romcoms, thrillers/mysteries, and horror)

For kid lit, I always want to learn something—which means I want your characters to teach me something. If your MC has an unusual hobby or interest, they’re probably for me. I’m also always looking to acquire books that give insight to our increasingly global world, so books that take place in other countries, books that highlight cultural pockets within a country, books about cultural intersection, etc. I want books that highlight friendship (especially when it isn’t easy), battling social norms to find one’s place, and diversity (across all spectrums). And I always, always need a strong voice.

“As a general breakdown:

“In picture books, I’m looking for 1) stories that tackle serious subjects like politics, mental health, grief, and belonging in an accessible and empowering way, 2) stories that teach about and celebrate different cultures and places in the world, and 3) nonfiction that delights and inspires—especially if it has a feminist/disability/multicultural/queer angle.

“In middle grade, I lean very heavily toward action-adventure—especially when it’s based on non-western (that means no Greek/Roman) mythology and folklore. If you think it could sit on a bookshelf next to Rick Riordan’s works, it’s for me. I’m looking for humor and fast-pacing but still want content that touches on larger themes like belonging, grief, friendship, family, culture, etc. I’m not a good fit for quiet and serious books.

“In young adult, I’m looking for multicultural, disabled, and queer perspectives on everything from modern teen experiences to reframing classic tropes like vampires and witches. Voice is everything for me—I love sarcasm, quirk, and wit—and the story needs to be speaking to a larger sociopolitical conversation, even if in a lighthearted way. I’m all for books that empower teens to get political and take a stand for what they believe in. I’m also really drawn to stories that treat setting like a character, and I’ve especially been wanting atmospheric horror—stories where the spook comes from the place itself, similar to Wilder Girls.

“On a specific level, I’m looking for:

  • Recreational fighting, both combat and noncombat (MMA, kick/boxing, karate, fencing, weapon work, etc.)
  • Girl gamers
  • Girl mechanics/riders (give me cars, motorcycles, racing, and rebuilding all day, please)
  • Science/math oriented clubs and hobbies (robotics, rockets, astronomy, coding, VR, etc.)
  • Career-orientation (more for YA than MG)
  • Activism
  • Crossing gender stereotypes/norms (boy ballerinas, girl motocrossers, what have you)
  • #OwnVoices Hmong characters (doesn’t have to take place in the Twin Cities, but that would be a plus!)
  • #OwnVoices Native American and indigenous characters
  • Books that take place around (but don’t necessarily center on) non-Christian holidays (Eid, Dio de los Muertos, Chinese New Year, Hanukkah, Holi, etc.)—especially for PB!
  • Inter-generational friendship (especially in MG)
  • Spooks/thrillers/ghosties
  • Unlikeable, snarky, witty MCs
  • Retellings of global, often-underrepresented folklore/mythology
  • Smart, quirky humor (especially if your book takes on heavy issues; I don’t do heavy without humor)
  • Author-illustrator graphic novels (especially those aimed at reluctant readers)
  • Informational nonfiction about unexpected, fun, inspiring topics

“Note about nonfiction: if I’m going to take it on, I need to know you’re qualified to write about it and have a strong platform/network, so be sure to include that in your query.

“I’m more interested in contemporary and light fantasy/spec than I am in SFF, but that doesn’t mean SFF won’t be a fit (I’m mainly just a real stickler about world building). I’m also not a great fit for trauma/terminal illness/impending death unless you’re taking a laughing-through-the-pain approach, and I pretty much entirely stay away from sexual assault.

“On the adult side, I represent both contemporary/commercial fiction, romcoms, thrillers and mysteries, and horror.

“For contemporary: I want smart writing that has something important to say while still incorporating humor. Voice is everything, so gives me a witty/sarcastic MC. Think SKYE FALLING, QUEENIE, NOTHING TO SEE HERE. I’m always looking for underrepresented voices and to learn something new.

“For romcoms, I want big emphasis on COM—à la Emily Henry. I also love stories that teach me something, so characters with intriguing jobs/hobbies is going to be up my alley. I’m particularly looking for interracial/intercultural stories (big plus if both character are of color).

“For thriller/mystery, I do NOT want the MC to be in law enforcement (including FBI/CIA). I’ve been digging Lisa Gardner’s Frankie Elkin series, and I love Lucy Foley, Andrea Bartz, and Riley Sager. I want badass, smart women, brilliant plotting, whiplash pacing, a strong secondary cast. I’m also open to paranormal elements here—think Simone St. James. I love a good haunting.

“For horror, atmosphere is everything, and I’d LOVE to get horror that plays off of folklore, particularly non-Eurocentric—think Stephen Graham Jones. I also want to learn about other cultures/histories—think Silvia Moreno-Garcia. Perks if there’s an environmental bent.

A note about thrillers, mysteries, and horror: while I love spooky and twisty and dark, I’m not a fan of gratuitous violence, and, again, I stay away from sexual assault.”

Writing Day Workshop Success Stories

These are some of our growing list of success stories regarding workshop attendees who have found their agent (or editor) match at a Writing Day Workshops event:

“I met Mai Nguyen at the Toronto Writers Workshop [online]
in 2020 and sold her manuscript in early 2022 in a pre-empt
to Atria Books/S&S for six-figures. It’s called SUNSHINE NAILS
and will be out in 2023.”
– literary agent Carly Watters (she/her) of P.S. Literary Agency

“I signed Julie Tyler who pitched to me via your
[online] 2021 Tennessee Writing Workshop.”
– literary agent Felice Laverne of ArtHouse Literary Agency

“I have signed with Ariana Philips of Jean V. Naggar Literary!
I pitched my novel to Ariana over Zoom at the 2021 online
Tennessee
Writing Workshop. It was a great experience, and
b
ecause of WDW, I have an agent!”
– writer Melissa Collings

“An agent at the [online] 2021 Carolina Writing Workshop offered
representation
and I parlayed that into another offer at the [online]
2021 Pittsburgh Writing Workshop. I’m now represented by Dani
Segelbaum at the Carol Mann Agency. I am so grateful for the
opportunity to
meet agents at your workshops. It’s a great program!”
– writer Jennifer Davis

“I wanted to let you know that we’ve agreed to a deal with one of the
writers who pitched me during the 2022 online Writing Workshop of
Chicago. Sourcebooks will be publishing a new edition of Cathy
Livingstone’s Best Grandmother Names book, and she will be writing
a Best Grandfather Names book for us as well. This is very exciting!”
Anna Michels, editorial director of Sourcebooks and Poisoned Pen Press

“I signed writer Patricia Beadle from the
(online) 2022 San Diego Writing Workshop.”
– literary agent Michelle Jackson of Olswanger Literary

I’m thrilled to have signed writer Maggie Lafreniere to 5 Otter
Literary, who I had an instant connection with in our pitch session
at the [online] 2022 Writing Workshop of Chicago! She’s such a talent,
and we expect big things for her! Looking forward to finding more
amazing authors at future Writing Day Workshops conferences!”

– literary agent Ali McDonald of 5 Otter Literary

“I have BIG news. I just signed with a literary agent I met
through the 2021 [online] Minnesota Writing Conference. I want to
thank you for all the support you have shown me over this year and
the wonderful conferences you put on.”

– writer Maria Costanzo Palmer

“I can’t thank you enough. The [online] 2021 Chesapeake Writing
Workshop was really a great venue to meet my literary agent.”
– writer Hamsa Buvaraghan

“Last week I signed Sarah Elisabeth Brown who pitched to me
via your [online] 2021 Michigan Writing Workshop.”
– literary agent Darlene Chan of Linda Chester Associates

“After pitching him at the 2022 [online] Atlanta Writing
Workshop, I signed with agent Daniel Cramer of
Page Turner Literary Agency.”
– writer Melody Plan

“Because of the [online] 2022 Minnesota Writing Workshop, and the
ability to pitch an agent one-on-one, I signed with agent Debbie
Alsdorf from Books & Such. Thank you for the opportunity and for
being a piece of my road to success. I truly appreciate it.”

– writer Chelsea Ohlemiller

“I attended the 2019 Seattle Writing Workshop and found
my agent at that event! I have since published my book,
Per My Last E-Mail. I am thankful for the agent pitch
sessions Writing Day Workshops provided.”

– author Stephanie K. Wright

“Highly recommend these workshops! This is how I got my agent!
The live pitch definitely gave more opportunity to be passionate & talk
about the book than my query letter ever could.” [S.E. found her agent,
Eric Smith of P.S. Literary, at the online 2021 San Diego Writing Workshop.]
– writer S.E. Doster of Geeky Acrylics

“This year I signed Natasha Khan, who pitched her story to
me at the [online] 2021 Atlanta Writing Workshop.”
– literary agent Kortney Price of Belcastro Literary

“Excited to announce that Megan Davies-Ostrom is my newest client!
Her horror and horror-adjacent work is wickedly fun and I know you’ll
all love it! She pitched me at the 2020 [online] Toronto Writing Workshop.”
– literary agent Becky LeJeune of Bond Literary

Screen Shot 2016-10-16 at 2.54.50 PM.png“I signed novelist Kathleen McInnis after meeting her
at the 2016 Chesapeake Writing Workshop.” (Update: Kathleen’s
novel THE HEART OF WAR: MISADVENTURES IN THE PENTAGON (A NOVEL)
came out in 2018.)

– literary agent Adriann Ranta of Foundry Literary + Media

“I just signed client Kyle Reardon from the [online] 2021 San Diego
Writing Workshop. Online virtual pitches DO WORK!!!”
– literary agent Lynnette Novak of The Seymour Agency

Screen Shot 2019-08-22 at 1.24.40 PM.png“I met author M. David Flanagan at the 2019 Writing Workshop of
San Francisco and will be representing his middle grade series,
Maggie Monday! How exciting!”
– literary agent and partner Laurie McLean of Fuse Literary

“Fun fact: I have offered representation to at least one attendee
per Writing Day Workshops conference. There’s always one gem
(at least!). So excited for your events!”

– literary agent Cecilia Lyra of P.S. Literary Agency

“After pitching to book agent Nikki Terpilowski through the [online]
2020 Colorado Writing Workshop, she wants to represent my book. Thank
you for your wonderful online conference and for making this possible.”

– writer Karen Harlin

Screen Shot 2020-05-04 at 11.11.38 PM“I am absolutely thrilled to welcome Anne Christopher to
#TeamSpencerhill. We first met at the 2020 Atlanta Writing Workshop,
and I absolutely fell in love with her Southern-flavored reunion romance.”
– literary agent Ali Herring of Spencerhill Associates

“I ended up signing up with agent Michael Carr of Veritas
Literary
following the [online] 2020 Boston Writing Conference.
As a non-US
author and non-native English speaker living
outside the big
literary hubs, the opportunity to connect with
industry
professionals via Zoom was invaluable for me.”
– writer Didem Tali

Screen Shot 2020-08-14 at 11.54.44 AM.png“I’m thrilled to announce that Sandra Knisely Barnidge has signed with me!
I met Sandra in Birmingham [2020 Alabama Writing Workshop] in March.
She pitched me her story about a group of girlfriends & what happens
when one girl becomes convinced she can levitate—I was hooked.”
– literary agent Erin Clyburn of Howland Literary

Screen Shot 2019-04-27 at 11.08.05 AM.png“I just signed a writer from the 2019 North Carolina Writing
Workshop! Her name is Sarah Warburton and we’ll be working
together on her women’s fiction. Thanks!”
– literary agent Melissa Jeglinski of The Knight Agency

Screen Shot 2019-10-12 at 11.29.53 AM.png“I signed Andrea Kessler, a picture book
writer I met at the 2019 Chesapeake Writing Workshop.”
– literary agent Shari Maurer of The Stringer Agency

Screen Shot 2016-10-16 at 3.19.33 PM.png“I am happy to report that I signed a writer after meeting
them through a pitch session at the 2016 Writing Workshop of Chicago.”
– literary agent Marcy Posner of Folio Literary

“I got an offer of representation from an agent at the [online]
2020 Boston Writing Workshop. I can’t thank you enough for
your incredible hard work in organizing the conference.”
– writer Anoop Ahuja Judge

Screen Shot 2016-10-16 at 3.24.34 PM.png“I signed writer Julie Tuovi after we met
in person at the 2016 Cleveland Writing Workshop.”
– literary agent Moe Ferrara of BookEnds Literary

Screen Shot 2018-11-05 at 12.56.10 PM“I signed author Stephanie Wright from
the 2018 Seattle Writing Workshop.”
– literary agent Kathleen Ortiz of New Leaf Literary

Screen Shot 2019-03-05 at 1.34.53 AM.png“I signed writer Mia Lazarewicz after she pitched
me at the 2018 Boston Writing Workshop.”
– literary agent Amelia Appel of TriadaUS Literary

Screen Shot 2018-11-05 at 12.59.36 PM“I signed an author from the 2016 Toronto Writing Workshop. I
requested her manuscript during a pitch session, read it overnight,
and loved it so much that I offered representation the next day!”

– literary agent Rachel Letofsky of CookeMcDermid Literary Management

Screen Shot 2018-02-08 at 10.20.16 AM.png“I got to attend your 2015 L.A. Conference [The Writing Conference of Los
Angeles] and it was a great experience. Thank you for all the information!”
Tomi Adeyemi, author of #1 New York Times bestseller CHILDREN OF
BLOOD AND BONE (March 2018, Henry Holt Books, Jimmy Fallon’s Summer Reads Choice). Her agent is Alexandra Machinist of ICM Partners

“I went to the 2019 Kansas City Writing Workshop, and that’s how I got
my agent! Also, your encouraging critique of my query letter and
synopsis helped me have the confidence to put myself out there.”

– writer Angela Crocker

Screen Shot 2020-04-02 at 12.42.27 PM.png“I recently signed Cathy Collison & Janis Campbell, who I met at the 2019
Michigan Writing Workshop. We’re starting
out with a MG nonfiction
project and have a lot of other
things in the pipeline after that!”
– literary agent Jacqui Lipton of The Tobias Agency

Screen Shot 2017-05-02 at 11.47.54 PM.png“Good news! I signed a client [novelist Aliza Mann]
from the 2017 Michigan Writing Workshop!”
– literary agent Sara Mebigow of KT Literary

Screen Shot 2017-09-08 at 11.47.54 PM.png“I wanted to let you know I signed a writer who
I met at the 2017 Writing Workshop of Chicago,
Rebecca Rissman. It was a quality conference.”

– literary agent Jennifer Unter of The Unter Agency

“I first met my agent, Lindsay Guzzardo from Martin Literary, at the 2019
Seattle Writing Workshop. She sold my novel, ALL THE LIGHTS ABOVE US
(May 2022)
to Alcove Press, a women’s fiction offshoot of Crooked Lane Publishing.”
– writer Melinda Burns-Henry

Screen Shot 2019-11-11 at 5.03.53 PM“I truly loved doing the 2019 San Diego Writing Workshop
and signed writer Marie Lavanier from the conference!”
– literary agent Jessica Watterson of Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency

“I am writing to say thank you for organizing these writing workshops.
I attended in 2019 and 2020, and I learned so much. My book,
Own Your Opportunities, is scheduled to be released in 2022. Attending
your workshops gave me so much information. I appreciated the
opportunity to speak directly to agents and get feedback. All in all, your workshops
helped me secure an agent and get a book deal. Dreams do come true. I encourage
everyone I know who desires to write a book to attend your workshops.”

– writer Juliet Hall

I recently signed on Daniel Stuart Olmes, whom I met at the  2021
[online] Chesapeake Writers Conference for his book Reflections of
an Ordinary Guy: The Everyday Experiences That Changed My Life.”

– literary agent Leticia Gomez of Savvy Literary

Screen Shot 2019-09-07 at 10.52.41 AM.png“I found a fabulous client at the
2019 Florida Writing Workshop.”
– literary agent Cricket Freeman of The August Agency

“I attended the 2019 Philadelphia Writing Workshop. The conference and
one-on-one session with agent John Willig reaffirmed my belief in my book
idea and book proposal. About a year ago I earned representation from
Waterside
Productions; my book APA Style & Citations was released
by Wiley in May
2021. Thank you for the encouragement.” [UPDATE: Joe’s second book,
College Writing For Dummies, comes out in 2022.]

– writer Joe Giampalmi

Screen Shot 2019-01-14 at 11.13.50 AM.png“I signed Lew Schrager, an author from
the 2015 Chesapeake Writing Workshop.”
– literary agent Laura Strachan of The Strachan Literary Agency

Screen Shot 2020-06-16 at 6.35.07 PM“I signed a client, Claudia Sorsby, from the
2019 Boston Writing Workshop.”
– literary agent Charlotte Wenger of Prospect Agency

Screen Shot 2019-04-19 at 10.48.43 AM.png“I signed an attendee from the 2018 Writing Workshop
of San Francisco! Her name is Justine Macauley, and we are
very excited to have made the match!

– literary agent Jennie Kendrick of Red Fox Literary

“After attending the [online] 2020 Colorado Writing Workshop, I signed
with a literary agent! I am so delighted. I received interest from multiple
agents and signed with Keely Boeving from WordServe Literary. I am thrilled.”
– writer Brie R. Doyle

Screen Shot 2017-11-14 at 4.27.50 PM.png“Hi WDW team, I just wanted to let you know that
I signed an author I met at the 2017 Michigan
Writing Workshop: Theresa Grant. Thanks so much!”
– literary agent Alice Speilburg of Speilburg Literary

Screen Shot 2019-12-07 at 12.01.07 PM“I pitched two agents at the 2019 Florida Writing Workshop. Both
agents requested my manuscript and, less than a week later, one of
them offered representation! I ultimately received five (!!) offers of
representation on the manuscript. I’ve always said the WDW conference
was the ‘first domino’ in getting my agent, Stefanie Lieberman of Janklow & Nesbit.
My debut
novel sold in a pre-empt.”
– author Sarah L. Penner

Screen Shot 2017-12-04 at 5.12.24 PM.png“I just signed writer E.J. Lawrence, who I met
at the 2017 Tennessee Writing Workshop!”
– literary agent Lesley Sabga of The Seymour Agency

Screen Shot 2018-11-26 at 11.11.29 AM.png“I met my client, Alison Hammer, at the 2017 Writing
Workshop of Chicago and just sold her book.”
– literary agent Joanna Mackenzie of Nelson Literary

Screen Shot 2018-06-09 at 10.20.48 AM“I love the quality of clients I find at the Writing Day
Workshops events. I signed writer Alicia Bernasconi
from the 2018 Indiana Writing Workshop.”

– literary agent Cyle Young of Hartline Literary

Screen Shot 2017-11-27 at 8.10.32 PM“[Author] Amber Cowie met [agent] Gordon Warnock of Fuse
Literary and [editor] Alison Dasho of Lake Union Publishing
at the 2017 Seattle Writing Workshop. Amber’s debut
RAPID FALLS is due out from Lake Union in fall 2018.”
– literary agent Gordon Warnock writing on the Fuse Literary blog.
[UPDATE: RAPID FALLS was released and quickly gathered more than
900 reviews on Amazon, reaching #1 on some categories.]

Screen Shot 2019-08-12 at 5.10.39 PM.png“After meeting him at the 2019 Writing Conference of Los Angeles,
I signed with agent Steven Hutson as a client. I’m so stoked to move
into the
next leg of my writing career. Such a blessing.”
– writer Mya Douglas

Screen Shot 2018-07-09 at 10.11.07 PM.png“I made an offer of representation to Sarah Kaminski,
who
pitched me at the 2018 Writing Workshop of Chicago.
A million thanks for introducing us.”
– literary agent Tina P. Schwartz of The Purcell Agency

Screen Shot 2018-07-09 at 11.48.39 PM.png“I got my agent at the 2018 Pittsburgh Writing Workshop. The
conference was a great opportunity to connect with agents in person.”
– writer Caitlin M. Smith

Screen Shot 2017-08-02 at 10.57.22 PM.png“Yay! I signed two clients from the
2017 Minnesota Writing Workshop!”
– literary agent Mary Cummings of Great River Literary

Screen Shot 2017-02-24 at 10.01.23 PM.png“I signed with a literary agent after pitching her at
the 2017 Alabama
Writing Workshop.”
– writer Laura W. Carter

Screen Shot 2017-10-15 at 6.06.45 AM.png“I was at the 2017 Philadelphia Writing Workshop. I pitched two
agencies that day, and today I signed with one of them! I am now
represented by Brower Literary! Thank you for all you do to
support writers trying to get their stories out in the world.”

– writer Jenny Raphael

Screen Shot 2018-09-22 at 11.30.09 AM.png“I signed with Beth Marshea of Ladderbird Literary Agency! I
pitched her at the 2018 Florida Writing Workshop. It was a perfect match.”
– writer Erica Shaw

Screen Shot 2018-12-29 at 10.48.03 AM.png“I attended the 2017 Alabama Writing Workshop. With the instruction
I received at your conference, I was better prepared to submit my novel. I
landed a great NY-based agent, got a book deal, went on a book tour,
and was picked as a columnist by a women’s magazine!”

– author Lorna Hollifield

Screen Shot 2017-05-09 at 12.53.01 AM.png“Agent Julie Gwinn [of The Seymour Agency] signed me from the 2017
Kentucky Writing Workshop! I feel so blessed and am thrilled beyond
belief!” [2020 update: Sue’s memoir, THE ATHLETE INSIDE, was sold
to Fortress Press and released in 2020.]

– writer Sue Reynolds

Screen Shot 2017-01-22 at 12.18.06 AM.png“I signed with agent Veronica Park of Fuse Literary after
pitching my manuscript to her at the 2016 Atlanta Writing Workshop.”  

writer Renee Barrow

Screen Shot 2016-10-16 at 3.23.35 PM.png“I signed an author from the 2016 Writing Workshop of Chicago.
Her name is Georgina Cross and I’m delighted I found her.” (UPDATE:
“Georgina is now writing suspense novels for Penguin Random
House and Bookouture. So grateful I met her there at a pitch
session, as we’ve had a fantastic relationship and friendship for 6 years!”
– literary agent Rachel Beck (nee Burkot) of Liza Dawson Associates

Screen Shot 2018-06-10 at 10.30.28 AM.png“I signed with a literary agency after pitching
them
at the the 2018 Michigan Writing Workshop.”
– writer Makiko Orser

Screen Shot 2018-06-19 at 3.42.12 PM“I just wanted you to know that I signed writer Brian Roth,
whom I met at your 2018 Indiana Writing Workshop.”
– literary agent Amanda Luedeke of MacGregor & Luedeke Literary

Screen Shot 2016-10-16 at 3.21.40 PM.png“I signed a writer-illustrator after meeting her
at the Atlanta Writing Workshop in 2016.”
– literary agent Sally Apokedak of Apokedak Literary Agency

Screen Shot 2016-10-16 at 3.20.42 PM.png“I signed a client after he pitched me
his novel at the 2014 Texas Writing Retreat.”
– literary agent Elizabeth Kracht of Kimberley Cameron & Associates

Screen Shot 2019-07-26 at 10.04.05 PM.png“Three positive agent pitches led to two offers of representation,
following
the 2019 Chesapeake Writing Workshop.”
– writer Andrea Kessler

Screen Shot 2018-10-01 at 10.57.36 PM.png“I signed writer Joe Stowitschek after meeting him
at the 2017 Seattle Writing Workshop.”
– literary agent Paul S. Levine of Paul S. Levine Literary

Screen Shot 2016-10-16 at 3.16.24 PM.png“My newest client’s name is Leslie Vedder. She pitched me
during the 2016 Colorado Writing Workshop. I read her story afterward
and loved it. I offered representation the week following the event!”
– literary agent Alex Barba

Screen Shot 2018-05-17 at 9.07.44 PM“I signed an author [Kate Thompson] that I
met at the 2017 Philadelphia Writing Workshop.”
– literary agent Kimberly Brower of Brower Literary

Screen Shot 2016-10-16 at 2.56.25 PM.png“I signed a client from the 2016
Writing Workshop of Chicago.”
– literary agent Abby Saul of The Lark Group

“This is easily the best spent money I’ve ever spent on a
writing conference. Period. I can’t sing enough praise for
Writing Day Workshops. Their help directly led to signing
with agent Sharon Belcastro. Even if you don’t find your
match at one of their events, the connections and feedback you get
will be life-changing.”

– writer Robert Blaine

Screen Shot 2020-01-22 at 10.48.23 PM“I attended the 2019 Atlanta Writing Workshop and loved it. I pitched
my book to an agent, and through one of them, I signed with her
agency. We got a book deal with Skyhorse and my book will be
published this spring! I’m so thankful for this workshop!”
– writer Leah Weber

Screen Shot 2017-07-25 at 8.29.22 PM.png“I signed with The Seymour Agency after pitching one
of their agents at the 2017 Tennessee Writing Workshop.”
[UPDATE: Tera’s memoir,
Swimming for Freedom, was
released in 2020 by Broadstreet Publishing.]

– writer Tera Bradham

Screen Shot 2016-10-16 at 3.02.36 PM.png“I met my client Lindsey Smith (The Food Mood Girl)
at the 2016 Philadelphia Writing Workshop.”
– literary agent Eric Smith of P.S. Literary

(Update: Eric sold Lindsey’s book to St. Martin’s Press, and it came out in fall 2017.)

Screen Shot 2016-12-13 at 12.07.49 AM.pngI signed with my agent, Patricia Nelson [of Marsal Lyon Literary
Agency], after
meeting her at the 2014 Arizona Writing Workshop.”
(Update: Patricia has sold several Axie’s novels to publishers, such
as HarperTeen. See all her books here.)

– writer Axie Oh

Screen Shot 2016-12-13 at 12.07.56 AM.png“I officially signed with agent Renee Nyen of KT Literary.
I met her at the 2014 Colorado Writing Workshop.” (Update:
Jessie’s novel, THE CALCULUS OF CHANGE, was released
from Clarion Books.)
– writer Jessie Hilb Akos

Screen Shot 2017-11-28 at 11.13.03 AM.png“I signed writer Beka Passauer, who I met at a pitch
session at the 2017 Seattle Writing Workshop.”
– literary agent Adria Goetz of Martin Literary Management

“I found my literary agent through the
2018 Writing Workshop of Chicago.”
– writer Joel Brigham

Screen Shot 2019-09-20 at 3.20.47 PM.png“I’m happy to report that I signed an author from the 2019
Chesapeake Writing Workshop! She’s terrific. I sold her book to
Simon & Schuster! It will be out in spring 2022.”
– literary agent Emily Williamson of Williamson Literary

Screen Shot 2018-12-06 at 11.07.44 AM.png“I’m proud to say I signed Andrew Southwick, one of the writers
who pitched me at the 2018 Philadelphia Writing Workshop.”

– literary agent Michelle Lazurek of Wordwise Media Services

“I think without these WDW conferences, I’d have queried
too much, too soon and missed out on valuable feedback and
connections for this manuscript and future manuscripts.”
– writer Stephanie Losi, 2022 Michigan Writing Workshop attendee

Screen Shot 2017-04-22 at 11.31.50 AM.png“I signed writers Laura Barnaby and Anitra Schulte after
meeting them at the 2017 Kansas City Writers Workshop.”

– literary agent Stephanie Hansen of Metamorphosis Literary Agency

(Update: Attendee Anitra Schulte has two books out with Two Lions [Amazon imprint]. Also, attendee Laura Barnaby (pen name Laura Snider) has a book series out with Severn River Publishing.)

Screen Shot 2018-12-10 at 9.54.30 PM.png“I signed with a literary agent I met at the
2018 Writing Workshop of Chicago”
– writer Ryann Roberts

Screen Shot 2019-03-21 at 10.02.33 PM.png“I attended the 2018 Chesapeake Writing Workshop and I
signed with a literary agent from the event. It was the
first conference I’ve been to, and I found it super helpful.”
– writer Katie Mastin

Screen Shot 2018-02-14 at 10.39.15 AM.png“I met my literary agent, Alice Speilburg of Speilburg Literary, at
the 2015 Kentucky Writing
Workshop in Louisville. She is awesome
and I can’t recommend Writing
Day Workshops events highly enough.
Book four of my #1 Amazon-bestselling Horizon Alpha series
releases April 2020, and the fifth and final book will hit stores in November 2020.”

– writer Wendy Vogel

Screen Shot 2016-12-13 at 12.08.00 AM.png“After taking pitches at the 2015 Michigan Writing Workshop,
I signed writer Kyle Prue as a new client.”
– literary agent Veronica Park
of Fuse Literary

Screen Shot 2019-07-18 at 12.23.17 AM.png“I found my agent at the 2018 Boston Writing Workshop. She and I hit it
off right away, and I knew she was the right agent for me. I’m happy I
made the trip from North Carolina and would highly recommend WDW
conferences for anyone who needs an agent.”

– writer Dawn Reno Langley

Screen Shot 2017-12-15 at 11.03.30 PM.png“At the 2017 Tennessee Writing Workshop, I signed a number
of new authors whose books
will be published in 2018.”
– editor Mike Parker of WordCrafts Press

“I now have an agent! I signed with an agent I met
at the [online] 2020 Kansas City Writing Workshop!”
– author Dionne Jones

Screen Shot 2018-07-30 at 4.22.56 PM“I am a success story! I attended the 2018 Michigan Writing
Workshop and it thrills me to announce that I am now
represented by an agent I pitched at the event.”
– writer Kristiana Sfirlea

Screen Shot 2019-01-24 at 10.43.12 AM.png“I enjoyed last year’s 2018 Pittsburgh Writing Workshop so much,
and from it I was able
to sign a book deal with a great publisher!
I see now that
I would never be where I am if it wasn’t for the workshop.”
– writer Addison Schmitt

Screen Shot 2016-12-13 at 12.08.09 AM.png“After taking pitches at the 2016 Alabama Writing Workshop, I met
Erin Brown Hollis at a pitch session, and she is now my client.”
[UPDATE:] “I got two publishing contracts for Erin — Broadstreet
Publishing and Vinspire Publishing.”
– literary agent Julie Gwinn
of The Seymour Agency

We will continue to update the list as success stories trickle in. Will our next success story be you? Join us at an event and pitch your work to agents and editors seeking new writers now!

 

 

Tips For Pitching Your Book at the 2023 MWW

If you are coming to the 2023 Minnesota Writing Workshop, you may be thinking about pitching one of the literary agents or editors in attendance. An in-person pitch is an excellent way to get an agent excited about both you and your work. Here are some tips (from one of a previous year’s instructors, Chuck Sambuchino) that will help you pitch your work effectively at the event during a 10-minute consultation. Chuck advises that you should:

  • Try to keep your pitch to 60-90 seconds. Keeping your pitch concise and short is beneficial because 1) it shows you are in command of the story and what your book is about; and 2) it allows plenty of time for back-and-forth discussion between you and the agent. Note: If you’re writing nonfiction, and therefore have to speak plenty about yourself and your platform, then your pitch can certainly run longer.
  • Practice before you get to the event. Say your pitch out loud, and even try it out on fellow writers. Feedback from peers will help you figure out if your pitch is confusing, or missing critical elements. Remember to focus on what makes your story unique. Mystery novels, for example, all follow a similar formula — so the elements that make yours unique and interesting will need to shine during the pitch to make your book stand out.
  • Do not give away the ending. If you pick up a DVD for Die Hard, does it say “John McClane is victorious at the story’s end”? No. Because if it did, you wouldn’t buy the movie. Pitches are designed to leave the ending unanswered, much like the back of any DVD box you read.
  • Have some questions ready. 10 minutes is plenty of time to pitch and discuss your book, so there is a good chance you will be done pitching early. At that point, you are free to ask the agent questions about writing, publishing or craft. The meeting is both a pitch session and a consultation, so feel free to ask whatever you like as long as it pertains to writing.
  • Remember to hit the big beats of a pitch. Everyone’s pitch will be different, but the main elements to hit are 1) introducing the main character(s) and telling us about them, 2) saying what goes wrong that sets the story into motion, 3) explaining how the main character sets off to make things right and solve the problem, 4) explaining the stakes — i.e., what happens if the main character fails, and 5) ending with an unclear wrap-up.